I got to do one of my favorite things on Friday: talk about the ADA to a bunch of disability rights advocates. Even better: the advocates were with the Southwest Center for Independence, and were in Durango, Colorado. I had the choice of six* hours of driving (each way) through the amazing Colorado countryside, or an hour (each way) bouncing over the mountains in a regional jet. I chose the drive without a second thought.
So Friday morning early, I lit out for Durango and because Holly still isn’t fully house-trained, and thus can’t stay alone with Tim, I brought her along for the ride.
It’s almost as if I bought the CRV with the dogs in mind! Oh, right. Turns out it has an added feature I hadn’t even known about. For those awkward moments when she poops in the middle of a scenic overlook that lacks a trashcan:
Always pack out your trash!
Anyway, I chose the southeastern route in the map above — down I25 and across Route 160 — because I’m not a big fan of pass driving. Google Maps helpfully sets out various routes, and then lets you choose your mode of transportation: car; bus; on foot. To accurately calculate our time, however, they need another option: traveling with puppy.
We stopped every hour and a half to two hours to find Holly a grassy spot. Besides that slight inconvenience, though, she was the perfect traveling companion.
Driving in Colorado: breathtakingly beautiful.
Breathtakingly . . . obvious?
Got to Durango without a minute to spare before the talk. That is, though I didn’t have any minutes to spare, I spared a couple, and ended up about 5 minutes late. It was my favorite kind of talk: with interested advocates who had great ideas and great questions.
After the talk, Holly and I set out to explore Durango a bit, and found a path by the river that was perfect for a post-driving-trip stroll.
Obligatory “Holly Posing Because She Knows Just How Cute She Is” photo:
Dinner was yak stew — a first for me! — and lamb dumplings at The Himalayan Kitchen, then back to the hotel, where Holly checked out the accommodations.
For the drive back to Denver, I chose the more direct route — in blue in the map above — that took me on Route 160 as far as Del Norte, and then Route 285 northeast through the mountains. There were a couple more passes, but either they were relatively easy passes or I’m finally getting use to pass driving. Or possibly exchanging the 1988 Accord for a 2013 CRV just makes the whole thing feel safer. But I also took the time to stop for photos. These first four were processed in HDR:
Uh oh! Better behave myself!***
I arrived home, tired and happy, yesterday afternoon, very grateful to live in a state of overwhelming natural beauty and kick-ass disability advocates.
* Actually, I have to confess, when I first learned I would be going to Durango, I thought, “it’s in the same state; how far can that be?” Having grown up out east**, I assumed that anywhere you had to go within a single state couldn’t be more than a couple of hours’ drive. Soooooo it turns out they make states bigger out here. So the six-hour drive was a bit of a surprise, but ultimately a pleasant one.
** I’ve been overthinking the phrases “back east” and “out west” recently. I use the phrases mostly because they reflect my path. I started life on the east coast, and I’ve migrated out west. But it occurs to me that these common phrases are not only sort of east-coast-centric, but also reflect a European-American-centric path (my peeps mostly entered the U.S. from the east coast and headed west) as opposed to an Asian-American path, as many Asians entered the U.S. from the west coast. So I thought I’d try “out east” for a while and see how it sounded.
*** Tim’s uncle Pete Palmer is sheriff!